Working super hard to get my Gallery inventory up by the Dragon Con Art Show in September. Ugh it is almost here! I somehow run out of time every year, I think the universe shortens the year in July just so I don't get my "to-do" list done...IT'S A CONSPIRACY I TELLS YA!!!
But I did get a fun sculpture finished this week and I am super excited about how it turned out. I'll admit, this piece had me worried for a minute. it was going the complete opposite direction than I had envisioned in my head so I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull it off, but it seems I know nothing. Let me walk you through my process of making my first Sea Dragon.
Every artist has mess-ups and mistakes when creating a piece. This piece decided to give me grief right off the bat. The frame I had planned to use for this sculpture originally, completely melted in my oven. I was super annoyed because I had spent several days embellishing it. But now I know to make sure a frame is actually wood instead of hard plastic. Live and learn...a lot. Each set-back teaches you something.
The new frame was around three inches taller than the last, so now my sculpture was going to be larger than I had expected but the Art must go on!
As always, I begin by forming the general shape with polymer clay around aluminum foil, loosely packed. The aluminum center helps to cut back on how much clay you use and how long you have to bake a piece.
|I poke holes in my sculpture where I need to attach the fins/wire before baking,|
because it is very difficult to poke the holes after baking.
I hold my piece up to the frame several times during the sculpting to make sure it is the right size and shape for the selected frame.
|The back of the frame is completely sculpted from polymer clay.|
It makes it easier to attach my sculpture to the base.
Then I place the fins in my piece to make sure I have it the way I want. I ended up not having enough that were the correct size and had to make more fins.
Normally I like to use colored polymer clay to add different shades to my sculptures but I didn't think I would be able to get the right look using only clay so the fins got hand painted stripes. I mixed colored powder with Liquid Sculpey so my paint could be baked without burning.
Time to make the background on the frame. I don't like my framed pieces looking like mounted heads, to avoid this look, I give each frame a small background. I think it makes the frame feel more like a window my piece is coming through. I painted the background shades of blue and then sculpted right on the paint. I winded the Sea Dragon's long body back and forth to get the look of a serpent swimming. Then added small scales one by one.
My frame was not feeling as oceany(oceany is a word :P) as I wanted so I felt little barnacles and shells where needed.
|The small bubbles are made of resin and I added them after the piece was completely baked.|
After the background is finished, I attach my dragon to the frame. Using craft wire that goes from the torso into the frame and mounds of liquid Sculpey, which works like glue you can bake.
While I am laying the scales, I am adding stripes to his body. Cause nothing is more oceany than stripes! :D Again I use colored powder mixed with liquid Sculpey to make the paint.
Lets add belly scales now! These don't take as long because they are much larger scales. I flatten out yellow clay and highlight it with blue. Then each piece is layered on the belly. I tried to layer the scales in a way to make the scales look like coral.
Small light blue scales were added to his lower jaw. These were spaced out a bit instead of over-lapped so it would appear more like cracked skin than scales.
Our dragon's neck and face are all that is left. The scales get smaller as I work my way to his snout. Then the scales across his nose are long and flat. I cover small wire with clay and roll it out as thin as possible, this makes perfect whiskers for my Sea Dragon. The rest of his head fins are attached and side fins are baked and attached to his torso. Looking pretty awesome if I do say so myself. :)
All that is left now is to add small painted details to the clay. I paint the entire piece with acrylics and then wipe the excess away while it is still wet. The paint seeps into the small nooks and crannies and makes the whole sculpture pop. Then I added tiny dots to the length of my dragon, like the ones on seahorses. :)
When all was said and done, this sculpture took me over 100 hours and I used approximately 12 ounces of polymer clay. He is 10 inches in size and weighs about two pounds, which is heavy for my work.
By Far the most difficult and in-depth sculpture I have done lately.
I have named this guy Shorr (shore) and he will be available in my Gallery at the Dragon Con Art Show in September. I hope everyone has enjoyed following my process and I hope you can all stop by to see this piece.
Keep checking my blog and social media sites for updates on what I will have available at Dragon Con.
Thank you much for reading!